Posted 22 November 2011 - 09:42 AM
An interesting exercise. I put in my gas mileage (poor) and an Ford SUV dropped into the driveway, which is what I drive! Perhaps the meat consumption is figured in the acreage need to support the person, whether their own or someone else's. There is a "green" option for housing that might be helpful. I require 18 acres, mostly I think because of the amount of beef we eat, but it is pasture raised in our area, so that offsets it a bit, I think. I "have" 45 acres on which to raise things to support me and we try to do a good job at that, at least vegetable and fruits. When I can, I preserve my own vegetables and fruits, mainly because it tastes better and I know what I'm eating. It's not significantly cheaper to do this by the time you amortize the cost of the land, tiller, fencing, time spent, and the cost of preserving the food. I think I broke even on jelly.
Raising one's own beef is too big of an investment in time and money, so we buy locally "on the hoof" along with chicken and pork. Oddly, dairy products are probably my biggest consumers of carbon as the source of these is always the grocery store and these products travel quite a distance. Our heat is coal (local anthracite)and wood from the farm, supplemented by fuel oil -- in spite of starting to produce significant natural gas, we've got no access to it and likely won't in the near future.
When I was growing up, my parents and grandparents raised nearly every bit of produce, meat, milk, eggs, that we had on the table. Their only purchases were "staples". I do know people who, except for a few significant items (fuel and some food), continue to support themselves mainly on what they grow. It is possible, but nearly a full time occupation. And in the end, especially depending on where you get animal grain and hay, it may well be as big a "footprint" as buying at the grocery. That would be interesting to try to calculate as this program takes into account only the distance food travels, not the investment in growing it.
Edit -- a cool place in which to store root vegetables seems almost mandatory for this kind of lifestyle.
No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."
---Louis Sabin - All about Dogs as Pets.
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